News

A picture of sweet potatoes.
Llez / Wikipedia

The sweet potato is North Carolina's state vegetable and it’s a cornerstone of agriculture in the Tar Heel State.

No state produces or exports more of the vegetable than North Carolina does, making it the No. 1 producer of sweet potatoes in the nation.

State Senate chamber
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Democrats in North Carolina's State Senate have returned four lawmakers to leadership positions for the upcoming session after the GOP defended its majorities in both chambers of the legislature.

A white man with grey hair in front of a microphone. The microphone is grey and the stand holding the microphone is black. The man has black circular glasses.
Ben McKeown

Frank Stasio bids WUNC goodbye today as he hosts his last live show before retirement. Stasio hosted thousands of live conversations in his 14 years as permanent host of The State of Things, with guests ranging from politicians and musicians to academics and activists.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

Greensboro-based Cone Health operates in two of the state's red zones for COVID-19 numbers.

Jim Morrill started covering politics during the Reagan administration. After reporting on dozens of elections, 11 national conventions and countless elected officials, the longtime Charlotte Observer journalist is retiring.

Host Jeff Tiberii asks Morrill to reflect on his five-decade career and the state of journalism. And later, Jeff does some reflecting of his own, about his father-in-law, who died this week.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging Americans not to travel this Thanksgiving as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise nationwide. That means many of us are rethinking a holiday that is grounded in sharing platters of food with family and friends.

Host Leoneda Inge talks with chef Stephanie Tyson, co-owner of Sweet Potatoes restaurant in Winston-Salem, about making the most of a different holiday season while staying safe and healthy. Leoneda also talks with members of Tall Grass Food Box, a food service helping Black farmers across the state; and we hear about the efforts of Urban Ministries of Durham to balance safety with community care for people experiencing homelessness.

For chef Stephanie Tyson’s sweet potato cornbread recipe, check out Leoneda’s feature on Tyson’s restaurant from 2014.


Voting signs were posted outside of White Rock Baptist Church in Durham on Election Day, Nov. 3, 2020.
Peyton Sickles / for WUNC

The North Carolina State Board of Elections certified the results of the November general election on Tuesday, awarding the state's 15 electoral votes to President Donald Trump.

NPR

President-elect Joe Biden is formally announcing his most recent nominees and appointments for his incoming administration.

Four Black men in a boat rowing in the water.
Richard Schultz / Courtesy of 50 Egg Films

A Louisiana family is sounding the alarm over the disappearance and death of 15-year-old Quawan "Bobby" Charles. The teen was missing for days before being found facedown in a creek. Local law enforcement officers say the boy drowned, but Bobby’s family says his disfigured corpse tells a different story. Host Frank Stasio talks about this 2020 death that calls to mind the 1955 murder of Emmett Till with popular culture experts Natalie Bullock Brown and Mark Anthony Neal.

N.C. State Wolfpack Coronavirus Masks
Gerry Broome / AP

Some North Carolina colleges plan to require students to show a negative COVID-19 test in order to return to campus after their winter break.

Chief Justice Cheri Beasley and Senior Associate Justice Paul Martin Newby
Courtesy North Carolina Judicial Branch

Like it or not, Cheri Beasley's tenure as Chief Justice will be defined in large part by her response to COVID-19.

Monday marks the return of in person teaching at Wake County Public Schools. Students arrive at Davis Drive Elementary to temperature checks and health screenings in the carpool line.
Kate Medley / For WUNC

While COVID-19 surges across the state, schools are adjusting plans for in-person learning. But the tough calls have been left almost completely to local school districts, as state and federal agencies are offering only minimal guidance.

Hunter Musi / Stanford University via AP

Four Native American tribes on Louisiana’s Gulf Coast requested United Nations assistance this year to force action by the U.S. government on invading salt. Their formal complaint cited “climate-forced displacement’’ and said saltwater had poisoned their land, their crops and their medicinal plants.

Governor Roy Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force share an update on COVID-19.

Watch, live, here starting at 2 p.m.

Iheoma Iruka has devoted her career to understanding bias in early-childhood education, but she has very few memories of that period in her own life. Iruka was born in Texas, but her parents moved back to Nigeria when she was 3. She stayed there until after second grade when she and two of her sisters moved to Boston with her mother, and the family was split between Nigeria and the U.S.

Leoneda Inge

The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 is surging. And there is also a growing number of people getting tested for the disease, for the first time. A program based at a historically Black university in Durham is organizing COVID-19 testing and collecting valuable data at the same time.

Any other year, Americans would be gearing up for the big Thanksgiving travel weekend; traffic jams and long lines at the airport would just be a reality of life. But TSA is quiet at Raleigh Durham International Airport, where the pandemic has cut air travel by two-thirds. Tested host Leoneda Inge talks with passengers and an RDU spokesperson about the changed travel landscape.

Election Day month rolls on with a recount in the North Carolina Chief Justice Supreme Court contest. A crowded field of candidates is forming for a vacant U.S. Senate seat. In our latest review of North Carolina politics, Aisha Dew and Becki Gray discuss those races, the likelihood Republicans will decriminalize marijuana, and what they're appreciative for this November.


A white man, Donald Trump, standing in front of a wooden podium. The podium has a blue sign with a red border with the words 'Trump Pence' in bold, white text. Trump is wearing a dark colored suit and a red tie with a white shirt
Gage Skidmore

The election is over, but many big questions remain for the political future of our nation. Which political party will control the U.S. Senate? Will the Democratic Party move more to the left or more to the center under a Biden administration?

A brown skinned woman with two hands over her face, the hand on the right side is white and the hand on the left side is black. The same woman is also shown at the bottom right corner of the picture with her head and hands up, her mouth is also open .
Seeco

Activists and artists continue fighting to awaken U.S. arts institutions to the foundational Blackness of Rock, EDM and Punk. The whitewashing of music and dance is a supremacist project throughout the Americas. Choreographers and instructors oftentimes ignore the West African traditions undergirding salsa, merengue, tango, and bachata.

A black background with the words 'I Am A White Mexican' in bold, yellow/gold letters
Latino Rebels

Scrolling through the comments on her article published in the online news platform Latino Rebels, Roosbelinda Cárdenas found a picture of herself alongside a lively discussion of her race. Non-Latinx white users weighed in, confident she did not meet their standards of whiteness. Others used their own genetics and apparent non-whiteness as evidence against her own assertion of whiteness.

South Building and the Old Well, UNC Chapel Hill
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Attorneys for UNC Chapel Hill have been in court for the past two weeks to defend the university's race-conscious admissions practices. The plaintiff suing UNC is the advocacy group Students for Fair Admissions. The group has pursued several lawsuits opposing affirmative action at selective universities across the country. The court trial has concluded and U.S. District Court Judge Loretta Biggs will issue her opinion sometime in the coming months.

A hog farm in Lyons, Georgia.
Jeff Vanuga, USDA NRCS

A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld a 2018 jury verdict that led to awarding monetary damages to neighbors of a North Carolina industrial hog operation for smells and noise they said made living nearby unbearable.

Protester holds up a sign that reads: End systemic racism.
Pikist

A group that represents North Carolina's 130 hospitals has joined a growing number of organizations and governments that have declared racism to be a public health crisis.

Cannabis containers and advocacy materials reading 'No one should be in jail for weed.'
We Go High NC

Hemp — including smokable hemp — is legal in North Carolina. But that is only the case if the hemp does not contain more than trace amounts of THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. Hemp and marijuana can be similar in appearance. Both contain some level of THC, though hemp’s concentration is much lower.

Furniture out on the sidewalk in front of a red brick building
70023venus2009 / Flickr / CC

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eviction moratorium protects North Carolina tenants from evictions until the end of the year. Any tenant can provide their landlord with a declaration form that attests they are unable to pay their rent and at risk of homelessness.

Picture of marijuana plant
Colleen Danger, via flickr, Creative Commons

A task force that Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper created to address and eliminate racial disparities in North Carolina's criminal justice and court systems recommended on Wednesday that legislators decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The famous well at UNC-Chapel Hill, with a larger building in the background.
Courtesy of UNC-Chapel Hill

The trial for a lawsuit challenging UNC Chapel Hill's race conscious admissions process is expected to conclude today.

Creative Commons / Via pxhere

The state's tourism industry group says nearly 4,000 businesses have signed on to a campaign promoting consumer safety during the pandemic. Visit North Carolina has been promoting its Count on Me NC program, which has provided training about proper physical distancing, hand-washing and mask wearing. Ads encourage customers to look for the "Count on Me NC" label.

Artist's rendering of battling Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops horridus.
Anthony Hutchings / Friends of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences

The fossil skeletons of two dinosaurs intertwined in what looks like a final death match have been donated to a North Carolina museum.

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